If one had to make a list of industries that have benefited from Tribeca’s metamorphoses from dilapidated artist’s encampment to prohibitive sanctuary for financiers, orthodontics would be right up there. Who, after all, is better positioned than the trophy wife to spend extravagantly in the name of her child’s of pearly-whites? Dr. Richard M. Lyons, who bills himself on his website Drtoothy.com as a longstanding Tribeca orthodontist—his office, at the corner of Worth and St. James Place, can be included in Tribeca only in very imaginative neighborhood delineations—is among the beneficiaries, even if the retainer-wearing have to skirt Chinatown for his services. Dr. Lyons has now further benefited from the inflation of downtown real estate values, according to city records, selling for $3 million his co-op at 37 West 12th Street, in Greenwich Village, a unit he has owned since the building’s completion in the early 1960s. Read More
Shimmering Was Not Enough; $12 M. Is Another Story: Chinese Artist’s Flatiron Home Sells Well Above Ask
Of late, pundits have alternatively lamented and celebrated diminishing funding and student enthusiasm for the arts and humanities at the nation’s schools. If only the Chinese-born artist Wen-Ying Tsai, who died in January, were here to advise these two camps—which often seem at intractable odds—as to the entirely possible marriage of their views.
Mr. Tsai, who trained in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, later applied his technical skills to creating motorized, ultra-modern sculptures, which showed at the Museum of Modern Art and Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. He also helped to establish the Tsai Art and Science Foundation, which promotes artists and scientists whose work illustrates the intersection and interdependence of the two disciplines. Now Mr. Tsai’s longtime home at 7 East 19th Street has passed from his family’s hands, according to city records—for the tidy sum of $12 million. Perhaps some portion of the proceeds will go toward mediation for those warring factions?
The Office of the City Register lists as the recent seller of the $3.9 million 32nd-floor combination at 422 East 72nd Street one Stewart J. Rahr, the billionaire philanthropist who in 2010 sold Kinray Pharmaceuticals, which he’d grown from a small family business into the largest privately-held industry wholesaler in the country. But according to an October profile in Forbes, Mr. Rahr has since his May divorce from Carol Rahr—his wife of 43 years—been replaced with a hard-partying, fame-obsessed character by the name “Stewie Rah Rah Number One King of All Fun,” a figure clad habitually in bright yellow sunglasses who uses as a personal anthem Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and who owns a phone case that reads “I Love Ibiza.”
We imagine that the folks at city records might have been less than thrilled had Mr. Rahr requested that his lengthy new monicker be entered into their databases—though we suppose a Stewie Rah Rah LLC would have been acceptable—but it will most certainly be Ms. Rahr, anyway, who benefits from the sale, even if the condo can account only for a tiny portion of the Rahrs’ $250 million settlement. Read More
The co-op board at River House, once sufficiently exclusive to reject applications from Diane Keaton and Gloria Vanderbilt, has lately relaxed its standards in effort to attract more buyers amid an increasingly condo-friendly high-end market. (It also recently listed the River Club on the market as an ultra-luxe, standalone mansion.) In fact, things are so laid back these days that the gatekeepers at 435 East 52nd Street did not even look askance at Uma Thurman‘s application, despite the actress’s starring role in Lars Von Trier’s forthcoming Nymphomaniac, a two-part film oft-described as pornographic, and which features Ms. Thurman in—ahem—compromising positions.
Fortunately for the actress—and for any red-blooded male in residence at River House—Mr. Von Trier’s erotic epic remains in post-production, the chatter at whisper level, and Ms. Thurman has passed muster with the board. For the price of $10 million, she has become the proud new owner of a four-bedroom unit on the sixth floor, according to city records. (The sale was first reported in The Post.) Read More
In a week during which the Thanksgiving holiday naturally dampened real estate transactions, a mere dozen contracts were signed at or above $4 million, according to Donna Olshan’s luxury market report. Two properties, each listed for $12.25 million, tied for the top spot. And though the developers of 995 Fifth Avenue, which houses one of the units, are perhaps more recognizable—Frick, Carnegie, Vanderbilt—those responsible for the other, a four-bedroom condo at 212 West 18th Street, have certainly been making more recent waves. Known as Walker Tower—after its architect Ralph Walker—the building inspired chatter this fall with the listing of its Penthouse One at $55 million. (That unit entered contract last month for slightly less than the ask—but still over $50 million, according to sources—while Penthouse Two, which came to market slightly later, is currently asking $47.5 million.) Read More
Carly Simon‘s 1970s hit You’re So Vain owes much of its success to Ms. Simon’s prodigious songwriting talents. But the track’s longevity doubtless has something to do with the riddle of its intended target. Possible candidates include Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens and Warren Beatty, and a 2003 auction for charity saw the answer divulged for the price of $50,000 to an NBC executive, who agreed not to leak the secret. (Seven years later, Ms. Simon laughed off the supposed revelation that it was about David Geffen.)
Still, for all the high-profile relationships of her past, the songwriter has been single since 2007—when she was divorced from businessman James Hart—which seems to imply an unfortunate waste of the ”romantic master suite with windowed bathroom, bedroom and enchanting sitting room with treetop views” recently credited to her West Village apartment by a listing with Nick Gavin at Corcoran. Ms. Simon appears to have no use any longer for the master suite—or any other part of the apartment, for that matter—having just sold her duplex co-op at 46 Commerce Street for the $2.3 million asking price, according to city records (rumors of the sale were first reported in The Post). Read More
Most famous for her relationship with John Lennon, Yoko Ono has a considerable—if unusual—oeuvre of her own. In 1964, she performed Cut Piece, in which she appeared on stage draped with fabric that she invited audiences to snip away, leaving her nude. Later, she made experimental films centered on human buttocks, and installed Wish Tree in the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art.
Maintaining an empty multimillion-dollar apartment in a Manhattan co-op building would seem a not-unlikely avant garde maneuver for Ms. Ono, and for years she did just that. Ms. Ono’s son Sean occupied the penthouse at 49 Downing Street, which Ms. Ono purchased in 1995, only briefly, but an October lawsuit against the co-op board suggested that the unit’s vacancy was not a performance art piece. (Ms. Ono claimed that the board arbitrarily blocked potential buyers because they preferred the penthouse empty, rather than occupied by a family with children.) Read More
The novelist Joanna Hershon has set her scenes in a vibrant multiplicity of locales: China, Tanzania, Anguilla, New Hampshire, New York and Berlin, for example. Her painter husband Derek Buckner, on the other hand, has traveled to Mexico for his work, but often enough finds inspiration in the intensely local, and even in the apparently mundane. The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Gowanus Canal have appeared on his canvases, and Mr. Buckner once devoted an entire series to depictions of marshmallows.
It seems likely, then, that Mr. Buckner’s creativity might be more adversely affected than his wife’s by their recent activity on the real estate market. The pair just sold their four-bedroom Brooklyn townhouse at 414 Sackett Street for $2.5 million, according to city records. (Any additional snack-food-themed collections can, of course, be completed from wherever they land next.) Read More
Merwin Bloch had considerably less luck in the film business than in 55 Central Park West, the building in which he spent the last few years. The imposing 19-story Art Deco co-op is perhaps best known for its role in the the 1984 film Ghostbusters. It was there that Sigourney Weaver’s character lived, that eggs sprang unbidden from their carton to cook on the counter top, and that the Sta Puft Marshmallow Man of Bill Murray’s nightmares came to his viscous end.
Mr. Bloch, who enjoyed a successful career in advertising, has but one full-length film to his name—1971′s The Telephone Book—a satirical erotic odyssey whose middling initial reception prefaced a descent into obscurity, and for which Mr. Bloch served as producer. But he will no longer need to feel competitive with his building’s relative fame: he has just sold his three-bedroom unit for full asking price of $7.5 million, according to city records. Read More
The illustrious Beresford building, at 7 West 81st Street, recently lost Goodyear Tire heiress Dorothy Seiberling Steinberg, who sold her co-op in the building earlier this month for $3.8 million. But Beresford residents—thoroughly accustomed to sharing their halls with diplomats, athletes, and stars of stage and screen—will be getting another heiress transplanted from points West. (Thank goodness!) Coke Anne Murchison Wilcox and her husband Jarvis G. Wilcox have purchased a 2-bedroom, 18th-floor apartment in the building for just under $4.6 million, according to city records. Read More